New law to make taking pictures of marked ballots legal

voters

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Under Ohio law, it’s illegal to take pictures of a completed ballot. It’s a rule that differs from state to state and is getting some voters in trouble.

State Representative Niraj Antani, is looking to change that for the Buckeye state by introducing House Bill 609 on Tuesday.

“We think that it’s a first amendment right to show who you’re voting for on your own ballot and that should be legal,” Rep. Antani said, “Right now, county prosecutors are not prosecuting for this crime. So we really shouldn’t have laws on the books that aren’t being prosecuted. ”

The current law was made a long time ago to prohibit bribery, Antani said, so those paying for votes couldn’t get the photographic proof. According to him there’s already statutes in place for that.

Voters like Kurt Hamler support the new legislation.

“Everybody says who they’re voting for already so if they’re tweeting out a picture, a selfie and their ballot it’s not a big deal to me,” he said.

For Katie Ahrens of Dayton, she doesn’t think it’s necessary.

“You don’t need to be just tweeting or snapchatting a picture with your ballot,” she said. “I don’t see what that does for our society.”

Although it is technically illegal, Ohio Secretary of State, Jon Husted said he’s unaware of anyone being prosecuted for it.

“I think we have bigger things to worry about than selfies with ballots,” Secretary Husted said.

Currently the legislature is not in session.

Representative Antani said if the bill doesn’t get passed this year, it will have to be reintroduced next year.

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